Owning a Specimen of the World’s Rarest, Most Controversial Cat Breed Costs $23,000

Created by crossing a wild Caracal and an Abyssinian cat, the Caracat is currently the world’s rarest and most expensive cat breed. It numbers only 30 specimens, and owning one costs 1.5 million Russian rubles, or $23,400.
Wild Caracals have long been revered for their exotic beauty and elegance. In ancient Egypt they were often embalmed and buried with pharaohs and depicted in intricate murals, while in China, emperors gave them away as special gifts.

The Caracat is an extremely rare and controversial breed. According to Ruptly TV, an outfit of Russia Today, there are only 30 Caracat specimens in the world today, which has to do with the difficulties of mixing two different size felines – a wild Caracal, which weighs around 30 pounds, with a domestic Abyssinian, which weighs about 10 pounds. Cat Breeder Jacquie Barnes-Hookey says that “because of the difference in the length of gestation, the kittens only rarely survive.”

“Caracat breeders are putting the mother through the stress of conceiving a huge kitten or two, with only a small percentage of F1s (first generation) surviving. That can’t be good for any mother,” Barnes-Hookey adds.

Wild Caracal

Cat breeder Barbara Galbraith Furbish also agrees that while the Caracat “is an amazingly beautiful animal, to intentionally cross a species that would not otherwise be inclined to cross ‘au naturale’ is the wrong kind of ‘gene fiddling'”. She adds that because of the unnatural cross between a Caracal and a Abyssinian cat, one can see both “the wild animal pleading behind those eyes to be released” and “the panicked domestic.”

And as with any exotic hybrids, owners of Caracats have to consider other problems as well: genetic defects that make the animal unable to properly digest food, resulting in inflammatory bowel disease, the possibility of death following a rabies vaccine that would otherwise not affect a domestic cat, a tendency to play rough (frequent biting), and pungent urine spraying (characteristic of wild cats).

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